Germany coach Joachim Low has called up Celtic defender Andreas Hinkel to his squad to face Liechtenstein and Finland in upcoming FIFA World Cup™ qualifiers.

Loew is without veteran midfielders Torsten Frings and Michael Ballack and so Hinkel gets a chance three years on from his last call-up. He won the last of his 17 caps in September 2005 in a defeat to Slovakia.

"Andreas is a regular at Celtic and has been playing well there recently," said Loew of the 26-year-old Hinkel, who previously played for Stuttgart and Spanish side Sevilla. He made his Germany debut in 2003 and was regarded as a bright hope for the future.

Frings, who has 77 caps, on Sunday had to pull out of the squad after fracturing his nose in a basket-ball game which his club Werder Bremen had organised as a promotional event. Chelsea's Ballack, Germany's skipper, is laid low with a foot injury.

Three-times world champions Germany also face Russia and Azerbaijan in their qualifying group.